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25.1.1 \@dottedtocline

Synopsis:

\@dottedtocline{section-level-num}{indent}{numwidth}{text}{pagenumber}

Used internally by LaTeX to format an entry line in the table of contents, list of figures, or list of tables. Authors do not directly enter \@dottedtocline commands.

This command is typically used by \l@section, \l@subsection, etc., to format the content lines. For example, the article.cls file contains these definitions:

\newcommand*\l@section{\@dottedtocline{1}{1.5em}{2.3em}}
\newcommand*\l@subsection{\@dottedtocline{2}{3.8em}{3.2em}}
\newcommand*\l@subsubsection{\@dottedtocline{3}{7.0em}{4.1em}}

In this example, \@dottedcline appears to have been given only three arguments. But tracing the internal code shows that it picks up the final text and pagenumber arguments in the synopsis from a call to \contentsline.

Between the box for the title text of a section and the right margin box, these \@dottedtocline commands insert leaders, that is, evenly-spaced dots. The dot-to-dot space is given by the command \@dotsep. By default it is 4.5 (it is in math units, which are 1/18 em. Change it using \renewcommand, as in \renewcommand{\@dotsep}{3.5}.

In the default book class, LaTeX does not use dotted leaders for the Part and Chapter table entries, and in the default article class it does not use dotted leaders for Section entries.


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